Kellogg CEO: Community collaboration essential to Detroit’s future

Communities / Article

As Detroit emerges from bankruptcy the hard work of rebuilding the city is already underway with the commitment of partners such as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich.  

La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of Kellogg, says collaboration is essential to creating the opportunities the city needs.

“What we’re learning and understanding is foundations can’t work in isolation,” she said. “We have to work in this multi-sectoral space and really bring business along, government, faith-based [groups] and people, et cetera, because it’s going to take all of us,” she said.

Tabron, a Detroit native who is the first African-American and first woman to head Kellogg, an $8.5 billion foundation with a global reach, recently discussed moving the city forward during an interview with Stephen Henderson of “American Black Journal” on Detroit Public Television.

The Kellogg Foundation was one of several philanthropies, including Knight Foundation, that pledged assets to the “grand bargain,” a financial package that also included state and private donations, to safeguard municipal pensions, protect the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts and set the stage for a relatively quick exit from bankruptcy. Detroit is one of 26 Knight communities, places where the Knight brothers once owned newspapers.

“Every foundation is different… but there are intersections, and what I hope is in those intersecting points that we do continue to figure out how to leverage one another’s resources and really … work together,” she said.

Michael D. Bolden is editorial director for Knight Foundation.